Growing up in Brighton, I would love the old Open Market in London road, full of butchers, grocers, but my favorite was the fishmonger stall.
The staff were load and proud, shouting over all the over stalls to be heard. "local mackerel, caught today by my own fair hands" they would say with a cheeky wink.
The staff would put up with my never-ending questions of "Mr. What's that?" with a smile and a giggle. For years I thought that mackerel were called Monty because one of the staff said "Sweetheart all mackerel are called Monty as they so daft that they cant remember names so they are all called Monty, that's why they are so easy to catch" I was convinced that's why Monty python was named that, as it was funny, and a little daft, just like the fish.
My love affair with fish was secured, and I love cooking with anything you can catch in the beautiful sea.
Being a Brightonian we are lucky that we have an amazing variety of local fish and shellfish to use, you just have to step out of the supermarkets to find it.
Although it's nice to cook strange foreign foods, sometimes the nearer to home the better I think.
So on a wet and windy Tuesday off I drive to our beautiful Hove Lagoon for a visit to FISH, the best fishmongers in Brighton and Hove.
Already full of eager customers, the queues were forming around the beautiful display of fresh local and further afield goodies. (details below)
After speaking a little with the staff, I decide to go for the local trout, lemon sole, along with that I get 2 lemons, and a large handful of samphire (more about that later).
Now back home for the cooking!
I have a rummage around the fridge and rustle up some veg and a couple of red chilies.
and start like Baldrick to form a cunning plan.. so here is the recipe for my seafood and fish platter.
Great on a cold night to pick and mix together.
SEAFOOD AND FISH PLATTER
1 Lemon sole
1 Red pepper
1 Yellow courgette
finely chopped parsley
Large handful of baby potatoes
a small amount of rice noodles
Preheat the oven to 180° C 400°F,
Boil a saucepan of water, and add the baby potatoes cut in half, cook for 5 mins then drain - slice the courgette and red pepper into thin slices, add the potatoes, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and place in a tray into the oven. Cook for 15 mins
Next place the fish in a tray (I asked for mine to be prepared with fewer bones) and season and sprinkle with parsley.
Place in the oven and cook for 12-15 mins.
Boil some water and just before serving and blanch the samphire for 2 mins. (don't add salt to the water as the samphire is already salty) then drain and add the noodles to the water.
Serve on one large plate, and dig in.
Make a trip down to Fish, and see the great quality of stock they have, they now also do lessons in fish prep.